Raúl Anguiano (1915-2006)
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Raúl Anguiano was born in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico. Anguiano’s interest in art began in his childhood, as he would draw family photographs taken during the Mexican Revolution.
Emilia, Sitting, 1987
Anguiano studied at the Free School of Painting at the Jalisco State Museum. In school Anguiano drew from life and copied prints from the Italian Renaissance. Anguiano was nicknamed “Rafaelito”.
At the young age of thirteen Anguiano met artist José Vizcarra, who realized Anguiano’s talent and tutored him free of charge.
Portrait of a Girl, 1968
At the age of fifteen, Anguiano became apart of an art collective called Bandera de Provincias. The collective published a periodical and organized exhibitions and lectures. Bandera de Provincias played an important role in forming Anguiano’s views on art and social issues. Anguiano was exposed to the writing of Giamcomo Leopardi, Machiavelli and Romain Rolland.
Anguiano’s family suffered financially when his father sacrificed a salary to engage in politics. Anguiano began working before the age of twenty, teaching in Guadalajara’s primary schools. Anguiano could not work in a studio full-time, but continued to work and paint with friends.
Flower of Stone Ballet, 1979
In 1934 Anguiano lost his teaching job and moved to Mexico City to live with other family members. Here, Anguiano befriended revolutionaries and began to adopt radical views.
Anguiano saw the work of Diego Rivera and other muralists who were involved in workers’ movements. He initiated his own career as a muralist in 1936. Anguiano painted both murals in the Revolutionary Confederation of Labor in the state of Michoacán. He was commissioned to paint many murals for the National Chamber of Commerce and the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico.
While working as a muralist, Anguiano continued to create paintings, drawings, prints and political banners. Anguiano often made work inspired by the circuses and cabarets he would attend.
Anguiano joined the Federation of Writers and Proletarian Artists (FEAP), and later the League of Writers and Revolutionary Artists (LEAR). The groups published books, put on exhibitions and worked towards social reform. The creation of LEAR later led to the founding of the Popular Graphics Workshop, which supported workers and peasants, worked for fair salaries, education, and anti-war efforts.
In 1935 Anguiano held his first solo exhibition at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City. Anguiano’s popularity grew quickly, and he continued to exhibit internationally, including shows in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, France, Israel, Italy, Russia, Japan and the United States.
Anguiano’s work is in the collections of major museums in Mexico, the United States, China and Italy. Do you think you own a painting by Raúl Anguiano? Contact us. We are the Anguiano experts.